So life is like this. Bills, a mortgage, 401k, kids, student loans, marriage, and who knows what else are barreling at you like one of those 18-wheelers on Ice Road Truckers. Impact is imminent. But come on, even if life gets inevitably more complicated after 4 years of college, and you have to seriously get on with this “adulting” thing, it’s not so bad growing up. Unless you’re Peter Pan. Luckily, you’re not Peter Pan--at least not since your middle school drama production.
However, most people who aren’t magical flying children eventually grow up, and when done right it can be a rewarding and fulfilling journey. True, you’ve got four years to get your act together, but if you think about it, you’ve got four whole years to get your act together, and it’s more than doable. Hey, you got into college. You’re doing reasonably well in your classes because you read our advice on utilizing your study hours. You got into your dream sorority or fraternity and have a wonderful second family full of sisters or brothers. You’re well on your way to building a career, you have a city somewhere in mind you’d like to end up--maybe even the very city where your college campus is located, and you may or may not end up with a ring on your finger (if you don’t have one already). Right?
The thing is, don’t panic if some or all of these things aren’t totally in place quite yet. You’re young. It will all come. What you need to do in the meantime is set the wheels in motion so the future will come at you a little less menacingly and with maybe a little less horsepower and a smaller grill. Thus, OmegaFi is happy to offer you Success in 4 Years: A Step-by-Step Guide to Navigate Greek Life and Beyond.
The first step is to remember that . . .
Greek Life Is Real Life
Why make the distinction between the two? You’re paying your dues in both scenarios--in other words, there’s an investment you make if you want a situation to pay dividends. We suggest wholeheartedly that you should approach Greek Life with the respect and dedication you would as an adult in a real life scenario working within a company, buying a house for your new family (congratulations!), planning a wedding (yippee!), or whatever the case may be. In other words, pay your dues on time. Dress to impress: Yes, that means wearing a tie to recruitment events. Represent your letters well at all times by being courteous, kind and selfless, and be gracious when disappointment inevitably rears its head. Pro-tip: Resilience is an important skill to practice and is invaluable when you get to the next level of life. Pitch in whenever you can, help your fellow members out, and build relationships (professional networking for the future will naturally grow from this process). This of course leads to the second step of navigating Greek Life and beyond, which is that . . .
Real Life Is Greek Life
Yep. You read that right. Every real-world skill you apply to your Greek experience will repay you as you grow older, wiser and hotter, you future silver foxes, you. And yet, the same can be applied in reverse. That means simply by experiencing Greek life with your respective chapter, you’re learning life lessons all the while. You just have to be paying attention. Think about it. How many chapter events force you to learn the art of compromise, of hard work, of responsibility, all while navigating social relationships? This is especially true if you hold an officer position, which can be challenging but will definitely up your responsibility and give you some skin in the leadership game. The treasurer position will teach you about managing finances; a chapter presidency will teach you how to lead your chapter, essentially a small business in structure; and practically any other chair will teach you about the line between compromise and authority, if nothing else. These are all important life skills, and of course regardless of your experience in your chapter, you may be juggling all this with a part-time job and school. That’s our cue for step three, which is . . .
Your Life for Four Years Is School, School, and School
To get through the next four years successfully, you’re going to have to learn the art of balancing Greek life with real life, but you’re going to have to put it all on the back burner to ensure you do well in the classroom. After all, that’s why you’re here. So the key to success in all of this is that getting a degree is your number one priority, period. If it gets to be too much, talk to your chapter president about how to lighten your load within the chapter, or if going inactive for a semester is a possibility while you get your grades up. If you’re working overtime at the sports bar every night to pay dues and falling asleep in Econ every morning, it’s not going to go well for you come midterms. It’s rough at times, but school must always come first. Hopefully you’re not quite in that bad of a spot yet, though. Talk to your fellow sisters or brothers about their studying techniques, and ask for help with classes they’ve already taken. Remember, asking for help will help you get through school, and also many other situations in the future. So make studying your number one goal in these next four years, and take your other life experiences in stride. You’re constantly learning, even when you don’t know it, so relax, take a deep breath, and go earn those credits.
If you follow these steps, we are sure you’ll be ready for anything that comes your way, in Greek life and well beyond your college years. What life tips have you found helpful in navigating the world after college? Let us know in the comments below!